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What is Plantar Fasciitis?

Plantar fasciitis is a painful inflammatory process of the plantar fascia. Longstanding cases of plantar fasciitis often demonstrate more degenerative changes than inflammatory changes, in which case they are termed plantar fasciosis.

The fibrous plantar fascia runs underneath the foot, acting as a shock-absorber. It can become inflamed by walking (especially on hard pavements) and minor injuries. Poorly-fitting shoes can also cause pain in the heel and instep. Try rest, heel pads or cushioned shoes, and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as ibuprofen.

Gentle calf stretches can help to stretch the plantar fascia via the Achilles tendon, which is attached to the heel. If the pain is persistent, your GP my suggest shoe inserts, or a steroid injection under the heel to settle the inflammation.

Location of pain from an online survey of 2655 people.

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